Microsoft Tells What's Next for C++

Microsoft Tells What's Next for C++

  • Comments 64

 By chance,  are you among those who think that Microsoft is leaving native development in general and the C++ programming language in particular behind? You better watch this interview to Ale Contenti, Principal Development Manager with the Windows C++ team at Microsoft.

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The interview was made by Christian Binder, Platform Strategy Manager with Microsoft Germany and Development Practices track owner in the still recent TechEd Europe 2010. Ale talks about key differentiators C++ offers today to developers, before other programming alternatives, but he also clears up any suspicion about Microsoft commitment to the language created by Bjarne Stroustrup by listing the efforts Redmond is doing for its evolution.

Ale had also delivered a session on ALM for C++ in that same conference.

  • I think we need to give credit where credit is due. VS2010 came with some really good improvements, primarily in the areas of library support (STL improvements aplenty) and compiler performance. Whoever said that VS2010 C++ compilation was slower than VS2008 is doing something wrong, period (the reverse is true).

    I think a LOT of the frustration centers around the VS2010 IDE. I'm glad that the class wizard came back, but aside from that things really do feel slow and bloated. I'd love to see the IDE team focus on making certain frequent actions (like F5 debugging) perform better - these are things we all do many times a day. And of course help integration is just horrid.

    I've also heard complaints about a lack of VC++ refactoring and intellisense support. I don't understand this. Visual Assist is a third-party product that fixes this problem nicely, and it is very affordable. It works so well that I honestly don't see why MS needs to focus on this area at all. MS should consider licensing a lite version of their product and shipping it with the next IDE release, rather than spending valuable dev cycles trying to catch up to that product.

  • The comments here are a sad picture of the state C++ development.  It seems like a lot of people have trouble distinguishing between a compiler and the IDE that ships with the compiler.  Personally, I don't think there has ever been a good VC++ IDE but the compilers have been getting very good over the last several years and the inclusion of C++0x features in the newest compiler is another welcome improvement.  

  • The VS2010 IDE was probably rewritten using the WPF "pattern du jour" (MVVM?). Commands, Messages, Views, ViewModels, all great stuff. It's so flexible you need to restart the whole app to clear the Recent File List :-)

  • Mark R.

    >I've also heard complaints about a lack of VC++ refactoring and intellisense support. I don't understand this. Visual Assist is a third-party product that fixes this problem nicely, and it is very affordable. It works so well that I honestly don't see why MS needs to focus on this area at all. MS should consider licensing a lite version of their product and shipping it with the next IDE release, rather than spending valuable dev cycles trying to catch up to that product.

    I believe it would be worthwhile.  I've paid for my own personal license for VAX, but it has its own parser separate from Visual Studio.  My comment was simply pointing out how strange it is that a lot of effort has gone into gathering runtime symbols accurately to get a red squiggle, but they don't use that information for more accurate and precise built in syntax highlighting.  Even ignoring other refactoring options and code snippets simple syntax highlighting improvements would be nice in the core IDE.

    Brian Barcus

    >The comments here are a sad picture of the state C++ development.  It seems like a lot of people have trouble distinguishing between a compiler and the IDE that ships with the compiler.  Personally, I don't think there has ever been a good VC++ IDE but the compilers have been getting very good over the last several years and the inclusion of C++0x features in the newest compiler is another welcome improvement.  

    I'm personally aware of the difference, but there -is- an overlap when you're talking about live compilation for intellisense and help support in the IDE.  The two are not as separate as you would like to think.

  • Regarding some feedback about F1 Help, Ulzii Luvsanbat tells what's its current status in a separated blogpost: blogs.msdn.com/.../issues-with-f1-help-in-c-projects.aspx .

  • > I'm personally aware of the difference, but there -is- an overlap when you're talking

    > about live compilation for intellisense and help support in the IDE.  The two are not

    > as separate as you would like to think.

    IntelliSense and help support in the IDE are driven by EDG's compiler, not MS' compiler; hence the current lack of C++/CLI IntelliSense.

  • Adam, sure, but I don't really see what difference it makes for an issue like syntax highlighting which compiler is used.  Unless I'm horribly off they must have a database of symbols with a high degree of accuracy and they know what things are, it would make a lot of sense to provide some more highlighting rules based on that.

  • Right, I just mean that MS' compiler improvements are in fact completely orthogonal to any IDE issues.

  • I never thought I would see this, but VC blog rivals IE blog for hate comments. Good job!

  • VS IDE is a waste for native C++ developer(I think there is few guys working on C++ .net),slow,very slow.

    boys,why not bring us a fast,native C++ IDE?there're hundreds and thousands of native C++ developers!

    I'm using VC6 IDE with VC7.1 compiler,because VAX support it,and the ide is fast,more still the 7.1 is good enough.

  • Where canI send my Feature/Improvement Request for Visual Studio? Is there a central website where I can post my requests? In the above comments I read some cool ideas for improvements to Visual Studio but I think that not the right place to share ideas for a better Visual Studio experience - so please tell me where I can post my ideas

  • Julian, the right place to post your suggestions is the Connect one: connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio

    Looking forward to getting your input!

  • Julian, you can surely post the requests there, but that will be a waste of your good ideas. Microsoft has long time ago stopped listening to its customers and has adopted a wide company policy: "We have no time to fix bugs". Not to mention to implement something valuable. I've heard it too many times from MS representatives.

  • Tadeusz, thanks for your endorsement! :-D

    Seriously, I kindly invite you to send me any communication you got from anybody of us telling you "we have no time to fix bugs." That's all wrong. The reason we have the Connect tool is twofold:

    -To allow you guys to submit bugs, expected to be fixed mainly in later SPs or eventually the next major release.

    -To allow you guys to suggest new features, to be incorporated in later major releases or eventually in an upcoming SP.

    That said, if our stance really were "no time to fix bugs", we better close the Connect tool and that's it, huh? I conceal you something, Tadeusz: it may happen that the bug you submitted won't be fixed in the next SPx, or the feature you suggested won't be implemented pretty soon. Not because we don't like customers, just because we prioritized other bugs and suggestions.

    Yet, if that happened, that doesn't mean we'll close your bug or ignore your suggestion. In fact we recently released a Beta of the upcoming VS2010 SP1 where we fixed several bugs (not just related with C++ but in general), and added a couple more features (for MFC lovers, we extended the MFC scope to cover things you had to use Direct2D, DirectWrite or Windows Animations, to mention some).

    I won't hide my head underneath and I'll admit we aren't yet fixing the lack of C++/CLI IntelliSense or the accuracy of F1 Help (which in any case is being improved, and we must thank to the community), among other community claims.

    Despite highlights and lowlights, the bottom line it that the Connect tool is the official mechanism to submit issues and suggestions, and everything we do in this team is based on input you guys entered there. I'll take your feedback, though, as a call for improvement.

  • Is there a chance to see a modern GUI framework for C++ in future? MFC isn't exactly 100% OOP. I've been using Qt with VS2010, however I'd rather use all the neccessary tools from one company.

    About IntelliSense: it works much better for me in VS2010 than it did in VS2008, in VS2008 at times I had to totally clean up my project folders because IntelliSense just stopped working, never had that issue with VS2010.

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